Knee Osteoarthritis and Platelet-Rich Plasma: A Study of Convenience and Efficacy with High Dose PRP®

Whether a patient has experienced knee pain from an isolated injury or endured decades of chronic pain, the underlying concern for all patients is whether or not they can find an effective treatment. Once a patient believes they have found a treatment that works for them, the next concern would likely be whether there is any risk involved and whether that risk pays off. Barring medical expenses and recovery time, which both vary wildly for myriad reasons, a patient’s primary concern when it comes to treating knee pain is whether the treatment works and that it works for them.

One difference between patients with chronic and isolated knee pain is that patients with chronic knee pain have likely had years of trial-and-error options in the search for a right treatment. It is equally likely that patients with chronic knee pain have experienced the pathogenesis of their condition, a progression to a level that has deteriorated the function of their knee joints. However, many who suffer from chronic knee pain will likely be unaware of the condition that causes increased pain over time; they will simply chalk up the pain as pain and do whatever they must to get rid of it. For the purpose of this article, let’s focus on the primary cause of chronic knee pain: osteoarthritis (OA).

When patients understand osteoarthritis as a contributing factor to knee pain, they can begin to understand how other risk factors can contribute and combine to aggravate knee pain. But first, what is osteoarthritis? When patients understand the condition they suffer from, and recognize what has worsened the pathogenesis of their osteoarthritis, they might begin to determine what they can do on a personal level to treat the pain. Taking personal steps to mitigate the pain greatly increases a patient’s ability to feel relief and confidence. When patients feel confident in their understanding of their osteoarthritis, treatment is that much easier to understand, and its importance leaves an impact that cannot be shaken by complacency or frustration with the condition itself. Dr. Dragan Primorac highlights the importance of paying attention to osteoarthritis (OA) by stating that, “[i]t is estimated that the prevalence of knee osteoarthritis (OA) among adults 60 years of age or older is approximately 10% in men and 13% in women, making knee OA one of the leading causes of disability in elderly population. Today, we know that osteoarthritis is not a disease characterized by loss of cartilage due to mechanical loading only, but a condition that affects all of the tissues in the joint, causing detectable changes in tissue architecture, its metabolism and function” (2020). Along with Dr. Primorac’s assessment that OA is a general loss of cartilage in the knee, we should also qualify that the reduction of this cartilage is not only the cause of pain but the effects of that lost cartilage are what will lead to increasing pain, depending largely on the risk factors.

Other than time and its accompanying decay of the human body, there are several risk factors that often exacerbate the condition of osteoarthritis so it is only appropriate that patients be made aware that other risk factors might be complicating the condition. Over time the internal and external anatomical structure of our body’s breakdown and the risk for osteoarthritis increases as the body ages. Osteoarthritis occurs when the protective pads of cartilage are worn down and the bones grind against each other and cause this pain. Unfortunately, everyone is at risk for osteoarthritis. However, patients who have experienced injuries to their knees or other joints are more likely to experience arthritis at an older age and OA is further exacerbated by other risk factors, especially in cases of patients who are obese.

While keeping these risk factors in mind, many patients will recognize that there are some risk factors that can be addressed (variables) and others that cannot (constants). When patients take on the information presented about their condition, it can often be overwhelming and patients hearing they have one or more risk factors will often feel hopeless. What is crucial in the process of treatment is the management of expectations– meaning the acceptance of the constants and confrontation of the variables.

While patients assess which OA risk factors might be constant and/or variable, they should take comfort in knowing that obesity is a largely variable risk factor that they can impact on their own. Dr. Lianzhi Chen and her associates found that, “[o]besity-related osteoarthritis (OA) is a complex, multifactorial condition that can cause significant impact on patients’ quality of life . . . Moderate dynamic mechanical loading is one of the most important mechanical factors for maintaining joint homeostasis. The integrity of articular cartilage is maintained under moderate loading conditions during routine daily activities. However, when receiving abnormal excessive mechanical loading, disruption of cartilage homeostasis and deformation of normal joint morphology occurs, further inducing and accelerating the progression of OA”. While it may seem to be common sense to many that knee pain would increase with the increase of a patient’s weight, many do not consider, as Dr. Chen states, that obesity can accelerate the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Not only does excess weight increase knee pain but it can literally deform the knee joint itself, further complicating the pain and necessitating more drastic treatment intervention.

Necessary knowledge of osteoarthritis and its variable, albeit critical, risk factors necessitate a patient’s intervention. If patients struggle with obesity, it is essential that they take action to mitigate their osteoarthritis, the pain, and the eventual deformation of the knee joint. Avoidance and of intervention in the day-to-day choices could contribute to the furthered pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. However, patients should not assume they will be alone in the treatment of their condition. In fact, while several options for knee pain treatment exist, there are only a few that can promise efficacy, safety, and convenience, and these treatments can all be found with multiple treatment solutions offered by Orthagenex.

One of the most effective and safe treatments offered by Orthagenex is the injection of High Dose PRP®, or platelet rich plasma (PRP). High Dose PRP® treatment for knee joint pain, while increasing in use and acclaim, is still considered to be unconventional and unheard of among those who have sought treatment for osteoarthritis in the past. High dose platelet rich plasma works to target and heal nerve/tissue damage, not only caused by osteoarthritis, but other causes of nerve damage as well. However, many patients might feel that a relatively nascent treatment for knee osteoarthritis like High Dose PRP® injections would be less than reputable or tested to a comfortable extent. To alleviate any concerns patients might have in their limited understanding of High Dose PRP®, let’s review what it is and how it helps osteoarthritis knee pain. In an evaluation of High Dose PRP® injections conducted by the China-Japan Union Hospital of Jilin University, researchers explain that “[p]latelet-rich plasma (PRP) is a platelet concentrate extracted from autologous blood by centrifugation, which is a kind of bioactive substance” (Wang 2022). From a patient’s own blood (autologous), Orthagenex is capable of injecting high dose platelet rich plasma in a concentrated form. When blood is taken from a patient and put in a centrifuge, it is spun rapidly to separate plasma and platelets from the rest of the blood elements that are not required for effective PRP treatments. These concentrated platelets, once extracted and applied, act as a powerful regenerative growth factor solution that can be used to target repair and restoration of damaged tissues, such as areas damaged by osteoarthritis in the knee. High Dose PRP® has the potential to heal and regrow damaged tissue around the knee joints and is favored among those patients who have suffered injuries or dealt with chronic pain over an extended period of time– even years. The treatment process of High Dose PRP® works through the cells in our damages tissue areas being stimulated by the high levels of growth factors and other beneficial components of PRP, activating and targeting the affected areas. The healing capability of our body works in much the same way but lacks the concentrations of growth factors and other elements to create rapid healing and regeneration, which is what makes PRP so effective at high doses. In fact many studies show that PRP only becomes effective at tissue regeneration over certain concentrations. Our body contains the capability to heal through the injection of High Dose PRP®. Orthagenex has the ability to apply platelet rich plasma in high concentrations required to create effective healing and recovery, and most importantly, the application is safe.

Wang continues with his evaluation of High Dose PRP® injections by clarifying that, “[t]he application of PRP comes from the body, there is no immune rejection reaction . . . it is, therefore, widely used in various clinical fields”. With High Dose PRP®, patients don’t need to worry about a foreign or unidentified substance entering or affecting their body with adverse and uncontrollable side-effects. As long as High Dose PRP® is prepared under proper conditions it is a safe and effective treatment. By contrast, many offices that offer a basic entry level PRP treatment are most likely using an unknown concentration using a regular blood spinning centrifuge that can’t differentiate with precision and can’t concentrate PRP to levels required to see effective regeneration. By targeting knee joints with osteoarthritis using the application of High Dose PRP®, it is an amplification of the body’s natural healing process.

According to a 2017 study evaluating high dose platelet rich plasma healing process in regards to the damaged tissues associated with reporting pain, doctors concluded that the six pieces of evidence that support damaged tissue regeneration include: “1) neuroprotection and prevention of neuronal apoptosis, 2) stimulation of vascular regeneration, 3) promotion of axonal regeneration, 4) regulation of inflammatory response in the microenvironment, 5) alleviation of nerve collateral muscle atrophy, and 6) improvement of human nervous system parameters” (Sanchez 2017). With the benefits of this natural application of healing platelets in mind, patients struggling with chronic knee pain are more likely to seek this type of treatment. As patients continue to learn about their condition, especially in the case of knee osteoarthritis, it can be daunting to consider the countless options for treatment, their efficacy and side effects. With Orthagenex and its state-of-the-art treatment options, the possibility for effective treatment that takes the patient’s comfort level into account is greater than ever. High Dose PRP® injection is just one of the many treatments that patients can count on to treat knee osteoarthritis and make a difference in their daily lives.